Employee Of The Month Movie Review

Employee of the Month's main character, thirtysomething box boy Zack (Dane Cook), relishes having a job with the least amount of responsibility. When the Costco-like store where he works hires a new, comely cashier (Jessica Simpson) who has a history for hooking up with the employee of the month, Zack decides to try harder so he can win her affection.

Too bad the movie never follows Zack's example. For 103 minutes, Employee of the Month refuses to go beyond shallow observations and silly slapstick, making for an ordinary outing when that should not be the case. Anyone who has ever worked in retail (or seen Clerks) knows there's a wealth of material for a good comedy. When I managed a used bookstore, a customer argued her case for a lower price by repeatedly stating that she was "a lawyer." At Borders, I had another customer so convinced we carried International Male (we didn't) that he was threatened with police action. Also at Borders, I have never worked with so many people who had visible tattoos, including one who had a small image of a pen and book on her lower back.

A better cast could have given the material a good jolt. Let's take a look at the movie's three leads: Dax Shepard, Simpson, and Cook. As Cook's nemesis, the primping, cocky cashier Vince, Shepard plays the douche bag with self-serious enthusiasm, but he acts with too much of an ironic bent. After her God-awful performance in The Dukes of Hazzard, it's a triumph that Simpson can convincingly portray a carbon-based life form. It's also an asset that here she's not smothered in three layers of bronzer.

Cook might be one of many stand-up comics not meant for a movie career. Look at Chris Rock, one of the funniest people on the planet, a man who can be simultaneously profound, profane, and hilarious. Most of his movie work is dreadful because he's never found the proper vehicle for his humor. Cook's role could have been played by any mildly funny, handsome guy aged 25 to 35. He's likable and affable, but you get the feeling his talent could be better utilized elsewhere, like on stage. A quote from an interview this year suggests where his comfort level is. "I wanted to create a stage persona for myself that allowed me to really speak on anything I want... So I can be a storyteller, I can be jokey, I can be corny, I can be a little vulgar, I can be a lot vulgar. And I'm not afraid to go anywhere to get the point of the joke across."

Dane Cook is the most popular stand-up comic in America today, a reign that usually doesn't last too long (remember Dana Carvey). He might want to work on retaining that crown, instead of starring in mediocre movies that don't highlight his appeal, and worse, don't get many jokes across.

Gosh, how to pick?

Cast & Crew

Director :

Producer : , , Barry Katz, Robert L. Levy, , , Brian Volk-Weiss, Brian Weiss


Employee Of The Month Rating

" Weak "

Rating: PG-13, 2006


More Dane Cook

Planes: Fire & Rescue Movie Review

Despite the fact that this too-soon spin-off feels like a mere cash-in on the Disney Cars/Planes marketing machine, this sequel is actually a lot more...

A Week In Movies: Hudson Wows New York, Planes And Pudsey Premiere, Plus New Trailers For Cave, Knightley And Witherspoon

A sleek and sexy Kate Hudson wowed the red carpet at the New York premiere of her new film Wish I Was Here. She was...

'Planes: Fire & Rescue' Takes Flight And Builds on Shaky Original

It could be argued that Planes (2013) was one of the worst Disney movies of recent times. Sure, it was great for say, toddler, but...

Second Trailer for 'Planes: Fire And Rescue' Gives Us More Action [Trailer + Pictures]

In the first trailer for Disney’s Planes: Fire and Rescue, we got a brief introduction to the characters and premise of the sequel to 2013’s...


Planes: Fire And Rescue Trailer

Former cropduster plane turned racing sensation Dusty Crophopper overcame his crippling fear of heights during the events of 'Planes', but he's about to show even...

Planes Movie Review

Disney takes over Pixar's "World of Cars" with this spin-off that no-one really asked for (Cars 2 wasn't exactly a mega-hit). Indeed, this is an...

'Planes' Crash-Lands As Pixar's Worse Film To Date: Critical Round-Up

Planes is the latest animated feature from Disney-owned animators Pixar. Set in the same anthropomorphic world as previous Pixar hits Cars and Cars 2, the...

Aerosmith, New Kids On The Block Rock TD Garden For Boston Benefit

The Boston Strong benefit for the victims of the marathon bombings last month has only been in the works for a few weeks. In that...